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How to De-Clutter Your Jira System

As we all know, project management and task tracking can sometimes feel overwhelming. The good news is that there are now a whole host of project management tools designed to make our lives easier and keep our teams agile, with Jira being amongst the most popular for handling multiple tasks with ease. 

While Jira offers comprehensive features for managing and tracking projects, we’ve all experienced how easy it is to fill systems with tickets and projects, and how hard it can be to keep Jira performing well as a result. One of the most effective ways to optimize performance is to de-clutter your Jira instance on a regular basis – but what exactly does this involve? And why is it so important? 

Spring Cleaning Your Jira System 

First things first – why is spring cleaning important for our Jira systems?  

There are several benefits of getting your Jira instance tidied up, with governance and performance being two of the most crucial. While governance is concerned with factors such as security, users and unification, performance involves the utility of tools, availability, capacity, and so on. 

Whether you choose to focus on governance or performance will depend on whatever your current goals are, but both need to be taken into consideration. Governance-based cleaning will allow you to improve performance measures, while performance-based cleaning may affect governance by changing approved ways of working. 

Keeping your Jira system clean can also save you money in the long run. By ensuring that inactive users are disabled and that redundant projects are archived, there will be less wasted user licenses and performance and storage overhead, cutting down on hosting costs as a result. It also means that users won’t be spending as much time in administration, allowing them to concentrate on completing important tasks. 

With new and improved versions of tools like Optimizer for Jira – now in its fourth version – it’s easier than ever to ensure your Jira system is well-kept. But what exactly are the best ways to de-clutter your Jira system? We’d like to discuss some of the best tips for effective spring cleaning, and hopefully you can pick up some useful tricks along the way. 

1. Disable Inactive Users

One of the simplest ways to de-clutter your Jira system is to disable the accounts of inactive users. In doing so, you’re able to keep your instance safe, stop people from accidentally assigning tickets to an account where no one is watching, and even more beneficially, return licences to you ready for a new user in your team.  

There are different ways you can disable inactive users. For example, the Cloud allows you to look at the last active column in User Management. You can’t, however, sort this column – although it is fairly obvious to see where people have become inactive. Using the Ctrl + F keyboard shortcut can highlight these occurrences, or you may need to just scroll through the page. 

Alternatively, you could opt for a plugin option to automate and speed up the process. As part of a new and improved interface, the Optimizer for Jira ‘Disable Inactive Users’ tool helps to: 

  • Deactivate Jira users who are no longer part of an organisation 

  • Deactivate Jira users who exist in an organisation, but never login 

  • Remove licences and access groups for inactive users 

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In one swift movement you can remove large groups of inactive users, saving you time so that you can focus on more important (and more enjoyable!) aspects of your job. 

2. Optimize Custom Fields 

As having too many custom fields is one of the biggest factors affecting Jira performance, it’s important to keep them operating as effectively as possible. 

One of the easiest ways to do so is to reuse custom fields across projects wherever possible. If you need to create a new custom field for a project, it’s worth checking ones that have already been created to see if they could be used for your needs. For example, there’s no point creating a new custom field for “must be completed by” if “due date” already exists. 

Optimizer for Jira’s ‘Optimize Custom Fields’ tool allows you to analyse custom fields and their usage, and remove any unused elements, providing a speed boost to your Jira instance when creating and editing viewing issues. 

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3. Archive Projects 

Archiving projects on a regular basis is a quick and easy way to prevent your Jira system from becoming congested. If your Jira instance has been running for a number of years, it’s bound to have many projects that are now “retired” or “dead”. It’s important to remove irrelevant projects and prevent re-indexing slowing down. By archiving a project, you can preserve the data it contains without affecting the performance of your Jira instance. 

With Optimizer for Jira, it’s easier than ever to identify projects to archive. By using Optimizer’s built-in administration browser, you can navigate your way to the archiving page with just two clicks of a mouse. By right clicking the project and clicking archive in the pop up menu, you can archive projects instantly, without losing any important information. 

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4. Remove Out-Of-Date Information with Jira Issue Archiving

Issue archiving is a simple way of removing out-of-date information from Jira for easier searching and faster performance. It also provides the option to archive individual issues and use JQL queries to collect and archive issues as a bulk action. What’s more, you can choose to automate this process using APIs if you require. 

When it comes to how to de-clutter your Jira system, the question is – does this information still need to be discoverable? If not, archive it. As with archiving projects, you don’t need to worry about archived data going anywhere. With admin permissions, you can find this data at any time, or unarchive it should you need  it for audit purposes. 

Here are two easy ways to get started with issue archiving: 

  • Query for any “done” issues that haven’t been used for two years or longer. Make sure you check with the owner of the issue before archiving it. 

  • Search for old components or released versions without log activity. Again, ensure you check with the owner to confirm this information can be archived. 

Archiving issues is very simple and can be done with one click on the issue itself. Alternatively, you can use JQL queries to collect and archive issues as a bulk action. Taking control of the data in your Jira system and setting realistic parameters on what or should be active or archived means you’re able to maintain a healthy instance and extend your runway for years to come. 

Has Optimizer helped to optimize your Jira product management systems? What tips and tricks have you picked up over the years? Let us know in the comments below. 



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